04 September 2010

Learning to See

I want to learn how to draw better so that I can do other visual art forms better. By better I mean with more thought and technique. Originally, I wanted to just be creative. But a friend and some reading up on art theory and artists convinced me that good*, creative artists learn how to see first. I've drawn on and off over the years, and have found it mostly frustrating, in large part because I invested no thought or technique into it, until last week when I had these ahas.

First, to develop my technique, it's easier to draw from an image than from the actual. It's framed and flattened for you. Perspective takes time to master; this scaffolds the process. Extracting the color created a closer relationship between the two representations, that is, gray scales. I'm not distracted by it. For my 1st attempt below, I looked at the b&w image on my 12 inch computer screen. Today I printed it, which again created a closer relationship between the representations, that is, paper:paper.  I can see more detail on the print too, which I didn't expect. Second, I've developed a compositional eye through photography over the years. I enjoy taking snapshots with my Iphone; the images are meaningful and interesting to me. Drawing these images excites me, which makes learning how to draw really fun now, when before it wasn't.

I may take a drawing class; it's always nice to get feedback. But I also found this free emptyeasel's How to Draw what you See: Techniques and Tips to Improve your Drawing Skills. Emptyeasel.com has other nice tutorials too.
*Good = having mastered technique

Odile, Me and Some Guy on the Wall of the Staircase,  Magnum Austellung @ C/O Berlin, July 2010

Original Image
Printed B&W version
1st Attempt